Managing and protecting inventory in your studio.

Urban Flow Yoga owner Megan Gray said even though her studio, located in Charleston, South Carolina, has a very small retail space, she has to take steps to properly manage and protect the merchandise it does sell.

“We carry Manduka mats of a variety of sizes and styles, TEEKI yoga pants, Spiritual Gangster apparel, Pura Vida bracelets, Yogitoes, our own branded tees, hoodies, tanks, hats and water bottles, and packaged foods and drinks,” she said, adding that all of the items are carried in a limited quantity.

To organize the space and merchandise efficiently, Urban Flow sticks to one managing software system: MINDBODY. In addition to retail sales, classes and memberships alike are handled through the software.

Gray suggested other MINDBODY users enter as much detailed information as possible into the software system in order to decrease the chances of under- or over-stocking items. “The system is checked monthly to make sure what we have in our system is available stock and what we have in store is correct,” she said.

But keep in mind the data revealed by your studio software is only as good as the data that’s put into it. If you’re not staying on top of logging inventory data accurately and on a consistent basis, you may struggle to use it effectively. Be as accurate as possible.

The Urban Flow Yoga owner also shared a few tips about protecting inventory from being stolen, such as displaying merchandise in plain view from the front desk, and making sure that at least one staff member is manning the area as often as possible.

“We lock the doors to reception during class so that things are as safe as possible from theft,” Gray said, adding that when classes are not taking place, there is almost always someone at the front desk.

Additionally, she said overstock is also locked away, and even added that as the owner, excessive overstock is stored at her home if needed.

The staff at Urban Flow Yoga, a mostly Vinyasa-based yoga studio, also considers the community in which it operates, and takes its safety initiative beyond just the protection of retail merchandise.

“We have offered self-defense classes in house from our local Krav Maga studio, as there is a college in our town and we want to keep our students safe,” said Gray.

Some of those students can be found covering the front desk in lieu of monetary payment to practice at the studio — a notion thieves may want to consider before targeting Urban Flow Yoga and its merchandise.